Australia: Premier’s Unhappiness Must Yield Real Results for Gladstone Harbour, Greens Say
The Premier’s dissatisfaction with Gladstone Ports Corporation is welcome after past breaches of Gladstone Harbour’s turbidity limits were largely ignored, but it must trigger real change to the dredging operation in the Harbour if it is to be anything more than another opportunity to install the party faithful at the top of a government-owned corporation.
“The Premier is obviously laying the groundwork for a change of management at Gladstone Ports Corporation, but if he is really concerned about community safety, marine life and the fishing industry in the Harbour he should act immediately to sanction the Ports Corporation for breaching its EA and direct it to end its fortnightly habit of exceeding the limit,” said Queensland Greens spokesperson, Adam Stone.
“Gladstone Ports Corporation’s Environmental Authority requires it to avoid exceeding the turbidity limit for more than 48 hours continuously, but it skirts as close to that limit as it can every fortnight when stronger tides make compliance more difficult and it has now been over the limit for nearly a week.
“Turbidity in Gladstone Harbour has been over the limit for nearly a week continuously now, so a meaningful response from the Queensland Government is well overdue.
“More political appointments are not the answer. Ideally dredging would stop altogether until we understand what is making the Harbour sick, but at a bare minimum Gladstone Ports Corporation’s Environmental Authority should be properly enforced.
“The turbidity limits are set at the ‘99th percentile’, meaning that historically turbidity in the Harbour was below that level 99% of the time.
“It is implausible and irresponsible to keep blaming the tides. Those turbidity limits should naturally only be exceeded for one day in a hundred, not for two days out of every fourteen.”
“The Harbour needs real change to the way dredging is being managed, not just an LNP face at the helm,” concluded Stone.
Dredging Today Staff, June 6, 2012; Image: westernbasinportdevelopment